Liam Neeson is in Talks To Play Hannibal in Joe Carnahan’s THE A-TEAM

     June 8, 2009

taken_movie_image_liam_neeson_01.jpgNo sooner do I finish writing up The Hollywood Reporter’s announcement that “The Hangover” star Bradley Cooper is in talks to play Faceman in Fox’s “The A-Team” adaptation than I see the following bit of news on Variety: Liam Neeson is in also in talks to join director Joe Carnahan’s big screen adaptation of the classic 1980s television series.  Which part is outsized enough for a star of Neeson’s caliber?  That would be the leader of the A-team – Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith.

Though Cooper’s “A-Team” casting was leaked a few weeks back, Neeson’s involvement comes as a bit of a surprise.  The actor did have a huge hit for Fox back in January with the surprisingly lucrative action-thriller “Taken”, but he also lost his wife that same month.  I, for one, did not expect to see him returning to work so quickly.  The article does say that Neeson and the studio are still in negotiations over the actor’s salary – something tells me that its advantage Neeson on this one.

“The A-Team” begins shooting this August with Tony and Ridley Scott producing.  The plot will remain the same – four war vets wrongly convicted of armed robbery escape from a military prison to become good-guy mercenaries – but the tone of the feature is said to be closer to “Mission: Impossible” than the campy TV series.  This fact makes a Liam Neeson version of Hannibal a lot more plausible.  The man is a great actor, sure, but I can’t exactly see him chomping on a cigar and making wisecracks George Peppard-style…

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